Tuesday, September 18, 2018

RC2018/09 Halftime Report

Time marches on, and once again I find myself halfway through a RetroChallenge event with (almost) nothing to show for myself. I did manage to let my truth-seeking engage me in a really dumb argument in defense of a simple fact, and I also found some time offline for some circuit prototyping and soldering. But alas, none of that actually matched my stated RetroChallenge project...am I the only one distracted?

Thankfully, Michai Ramakers volunteered to help to move things along by providing some commentary of the documented progress so far. I reviewed his comments, and they seem thoughtful, fair, and supportive. So, I have published them as the "halftime" comments on the entrants page. I hope everyone is as happy with Michai's help as I am -- having a guest halftime reporter may have to become a regular aspect of the competition... :-)

With that said, if you are an RC2018/09 competitor then you have less than two weeks to finish-up and/or reach any "stretch" goals -- I hope you do, because that is the most fun for everyone! So, grab a nap, have a snack, and get back to work...

If you are merely an RC2018/09 spectator, then please do review the entrants page, consider the halftime comments, and check things out for yourself. If you have your own comments or if you just want to cheer-on your favorite project then feel free to comment below. Moreover, if you feel inspired to get out your retro gear and get to work, then welcome to the club!

RC2018/09 will run until midnight on 30 September 2018, and practically anything might happen between now and then. Of course, there is only one way to find-out what happens...stay tuned!

Friday, August 31, 2018

RC2018/09 is ready to go, go, go!!

Projects have been proposed, preparations have been made...this place about to b-l-o-w!

Hmmm...that song is so old, it is retro...oh, bother...well, no matter!

Heat-up your soldering irons, strip your wires, crack open your programming language manuals and find your CPU reference cards. It's time for the next RetroChallenge event to hit the world! Will this be the best one yet? MAYBE! :-)

Official run time of RC2018/09 will be from 12:00am GMT on 1 September 2018 (i.e. less than three hours from now) until 11:59pm on 30 September 2018. Traditionally, we have granted competitors the courtesy of shifting that time period to correspond with their own timezones, and that courtesy will be observed this time as well for those that so desire.

Alright then, so...ready, steady, go! Do try to have some fun now, ya hear? ;-)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Next RetroChallenge Event: September 2018 (RC2018/09)

Well, I've suggested it, hinted at it, circulated it, and done everything but announce it. Now, here it is: the next RetroChallenge event will occur during the month of September in 2018. Henceforth, this event will be known as RC2018/09.

I hope that this scheduling change will not be too inconvenient for anyone. The change from the January/July schedule to the April/October one was intended to boost participation. I'm not sure it did that, but maybe it helped. In any case...after I inherited the new schedule along with becoming the event organizer, I felt the pain as the schedule just didn't work for me. I feel like the event suffered from my distraction, and I'm still hoping to rectify some of that...stay tuned?

RC2018/09 -- Open for Entrants!

So, with all that said...it is about that time of year again! Who is ready for another round of RetroChallenge?!?!?!

Entries Accepted

If you plan to join us in the RC2018/09 competition, now is the time to make yourself known. Feel free to refer to our "RetroChallenge Rules" page for reminders, but the basics are "do something interesting with an old computer, and blog about it for month". Please note that microcontrollers now qualify under similar conditions to video game consoles (i.e. made in the previous century).

Whatever you are going to do, please send me an email describing:

  1. Your name (or alias);
  2. Your picture (or I'll find something online);
  3. Your Twitter handle (if applicable);
  4. Your blog location (for project updates); and
  5. A brief synopsis of your project.
I likely will produce an entrants list that looks a bit like the one from RC2018/04, so use that as a guide for the level of information needed. Please send the information requested above to me via email to linville at tuxdriver dot com -- figuring-out how to decode that address is your first test...

Get Things Rolling!

Well, then, that's all for now -- just over 4 weeks until the start of the competition! Currently I do not have any prize donations to announce, but I am hopeful as always that our retro-oriented friends will come through with some great prize offerings. Don't worry! Remember, the competition is it's own reward... :-)

Anyway, get your entry to me, order your parts, and make any necessary preparations. September will soon be here!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

RC2018/04 -- judging completed...

Greetings RetroChallenge fans! Some of you will be pleased to know that I have finally completed my review of the RC2018/04 projects. I have put my comments in red on the Entrants List. Please do have a look -- competitors, please review my comments for fairness and accuracy, and feel free to send me any rebuttal comments that you would like to have on the record.

I will contemplate prizes for a few days, as I collect any rebuttal statements. Don't worry, no prize of any meaningful value is likely to be awarded... :-)

Late Again

Once again I find myself in the position of apologizing for my late review of the projects. Real life can be a bit unpredictable as to when it places its requirements upon one's time, but it is starting to feel like the current RetroChallenge schedule is aligning too closely with external forces placing predictable demands on my time and attention. The "day job" can be bad enough, but CoCoFEST! and Tandy Assembly are now annual events demanding my attention in April and October.

I liked the old January and July RetroChallenge scheduling, but others had problems at those times as well. I wonder if March and September might be worth a try instead?


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

RC2018/04 -- pencils down!

OK! It is well past midnight GMT, and probably everywhere by now. It's time to relax, to pour a cold one, to polish your blog if it still needs it, and to reintroduce yourself to your family. You can start brainstorming for your RC2018/10 project, but its still to early to start work on that...

I will start reviewing final submissions soon. If you still need a little time to finish your blog, then please let me know and I'll try to accommodate you. Also, if you moved your blog or I otherwise don't have your blog URL on the entrants list then please update me with that information as soon as possible. If I can't find your blog, then I will have to disqualify your entry -- sorry!

Great Work...Thanks!

Otherwise, thanks to our competitors for another great month of competition! I'll be back shortly to announce the final results...

Sunday, April 29, 2018

RC2018/04 almost over...already??

Time is, once again, the enemy of us all. What started on April 1st will soon be at an end, and where has the time gone? Those watching on Twitter have seen a lot of activity from at least a slice of the competitors. In the meantime, once again I have had a busy month in real life -- I didn't even produce a half-time report for this go 'round! Shame on me...

Final Stretch

Despite my personal difficulties (who decided to do this in April??), the competition has progressed with each individual competitor making their own way as usual. As of now, another day and a few more hours remain. Some competitors may already be finished, and others hopelessly behind. For those in the middle, now is your last chance!

So, solder those parts, turn those screws, burn that code into ROM, and do whatever else remains to make things presentable. Oh, and tidy-up those blogs and send me a reminder ASAP if you moved your blog or switched to YouTube or smoke signals or whatever else. Meanwhile, I'll sift through my book pile and my stack of antique electronics in search of a few suitable prizes.

So that's about it -- pencils down tomorrow and then I'll need some time to review the final reports. Bonne chance, buena suerte, good luck, etc. Set fun to maximum!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

RC2018/04 is a go!

Yes, I've been busy lately, and I'm a bit behind on processing the entries. But nevermind that -- the show must go on!

It's already April in some places, and well past time to claim some time for your retro hobby. So, all you geeks, gadgeteers, builders, and boffins of all types should be digging-out your retro gear and getting to work. My shortcomings are no excuse -- your entry will be properly recorded well before the competitions ends... :-)

So, dig out your 8-bit machines, your assemblers, your oscilloscopes and your soldering irons. It's time to get cracking. I can hardly wait to see what you can do, and the world is in line behind me.

Remember: you are only young once, but you can be retro forever!

Are you ready to face the Retro Challenge?